Fat pad irritation occurs under the heel of the foot, where this structure is situated to absorb and reduce shock into the heel bone (calcaneus) and ankle joint during physical activity.
The fat-pad or heel-pad function as shock absorption underneath the calcaneus, to cushion during heel strike/fast walking/running etc. (Kelikian, 2011).
Injury is caused by increased pressure/load on the heel pad where the foot weight bears this can be due to a fall onto the heels or chronic overuse; The heels may feel bruised
Rest and ice principles should be applied, gel heel pads or softer footwear can assist in pain reduction
Kelikian A.S., Sarrafian’s Anatomy of the Foot and Ankle: Descriptive, Topographic, Functional, 3rd Edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, p. 635